As a contract coating company providing solvent and water-capable coating lines, saturation services, and controlled application of fine particles, granules and chopped fibers, we know a thing or two about textiles. We work with anything and everything. As it turns out, traditional textiles like cotton and polyester may one day become a thing of the past.
New textiles and fabrics with eco-friendly properties are beginning to emerge. Often, these new textiles and fabrics are made from materials that would otherwise go to waste. Here are some of the newest and strangest out there.
Notable New Textiles and Fabrics
Some of these environmentally friendly fabrics are already in use, like those made of coconut husks, recycled plastic bottles, wood pulp and corn, while others are strange and futuristic, sourced from hagfish slime, fermented wine, spoiled milk and genetically engineered bacteria.
- Fermented Wine
A group of scientists at the University of Western Australia has produced fabric by culturing bacteria in red wine. The bacteria ferment the alcohol into fibers that can be used to make fabric. Unfortunately, Acetobacter also produce vinegar, so the clothes will have an odor.
- Hagfish Thread
The hagfish, an eel-shaped sea creature, has a skull but no vertebral column. Scientists discovered that proteins in the substance they use to protect themselves can be woven into high-performance biomaterials.
- Chemically Engineered Bacteria
Spider silk is both highly valuable and extremely difficult to collect. Geneticists have discovered a way to chemically synthesize the spider’s silk gene and insert it into E. coli bacteria for easier harvesting.
Most synthetic fibers are petroleum-based, but those sourced from natural Ingeo by Natureworks are derived from fermented corn starches. It can be spun into fibers for textiles and used for bio-plastics.
- Coconut Husks
Cocona is a fabric made of coconut-husk waste from the food service industry. It is ideal for athletic wear as it is lightweight and breathable.
- Soured Milk
Qmilch makes fabric from protein found in spoiled milk. The production process results in zero waste, requires no harsh chemicals, and uses less water than other milk-based fabrics.
- Wood Pulp
Naoran is a chemical-free leather alternative derived from wood pulp and recycled polyester. It is soft, flexible, and water-resistant.
- Recycled Plastic Bottles
Newlife is a polyester yarn processed mechanically from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Georgio Armani used it to create an eco-friendly gown for Livia Firth at the 2012 Golden Globe Awards.
- Recycled Newspaper
Artist Ivano Vitali fashions strips of newspaper into balls of yarn, crocheting them into textile art with enormous wooden knitting needles and hooks.
- Lab-Grown Biological Textiles
Designer Amy Congdon believes biotechnology will change the fashion industry. Her series ‘Biological Atelier’ imagines a futuristic workshop where garments are grown from cells.
Textile Coatings from National Coating Corporation
At National Coating Corporation, we work with a wide variety of new textiles and fabrics. Our extensive experience working with substrates and coatings has enabled us to develop processes that enhance the performance and lifespan of numerous materials. To learn more, visit our homepage!